NOTE: This will be a published article next week in the Farmerville Gazette, Farmerville, Louisiana, USA.
Our world is made up of unique individuals, unique groups and sects, and unique governments that are connected by one planet. This individuality allows the world to develop different sets of values and norms that are geographically concentrated. This is easily observed in our modern world of fast communications when two unique core beliefs clash and we instantaneously hear of American SEALS killing Osama Bin Laden or that four Americans are killed by an organized terror plot in Libya. These clashes are not new to the world; only the reporting and documentation of these incidents have become common to our current generation.
America was founded by a combination of religious individuals searching for a land to freely practice their beliefs such as the Pilgrims at Plymouth; groups that were searching for wealth and commerce such as the settlement at Jamestown; and groups that were looking to explore and raid the land with little regard to the inhabitants such as the Spanish conquistadors in the southern United States. Eventually diverse groups were pulled together and formed into what is now our United States. Our founding fathers took noble and controversial steps to insure that citizens of a newly formed country could practice their religions without persecution nor would individuals live under a state imposed religion such as was present in England at the time of the writing of the Constitution.
America did not impose a state run religion, but it was founded on Judeo Christian values and as such several Holidays that are associated with religion are a part of our official government holidays. Two of my favorite holidays are religious based. These two, Christmas and Easter, are feel good holidays that provide an inner feeling of peace. The third, Independence Day, makes me proud of a country that I am so blessed to live in.
Recently I heard of several attacks on Easter that seem preposterous for several reasons. One school banned the use of the name Easter Bunny and another would not allow the use of the term Easter Egg Hunt. The school leaders sighted that the use of the term Easter could offend some people that are not part of the Christian Religion. The biggest problem with this is that the holiday is officially called Easter and the Federal Government has proclaimed this as a federal holiday. It is not mandatory that anyone must celebrate the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus at Easter and that is the beauty of our great country but to say that we cannot use the word Easter is trampling on the beliefs of the majority while ignoring established norms that have been with us since the founding of our nation.
The first thing that is so ridiculous with the Easter Bunny situation is that the bunny has no religious significance. This is an invention of early times to celebrate the holiday and make it a fun festival for the youth. The use of the word Easter when used with the bunny or the decorated eggs in n way displays the true meaning of the holiday nor is the bunny a religious relic.
The second issue I have with the deletion of Easter from the public vocabulary is that a school event that is void of religious demands is not mandating that a person participate in a religious observance. Instead the school is providing an event that has been ongoing for generations and it is a part of the Easter Holiday.
The part of this Easter Story that is most disturbing is not that the Easter Bunny is under attack, it is that the story of Easter is continually loosing is significance and for many the story is no longer known nor understood. While the vision of a bunny rabbit and numerous brightly colored eggs surrounded by chocolate goodies really does no justice to the vision of a man hanging from a cross after undergoing unmerciful torture at the hands of the great Roman government.
If the use of the word Easter is offensive and a person has a legitimate concern with the Holiday I would recommend that this individual declare that he or she does not want to participate in the Holiday and instead go to work on the federally proclaimed day off.

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